Godwin Blackford Read Smith
Godwin Blackford was the
daughter of Godwin Lewis Blackford (1862–1927)
and Eugenia B. "Gene" Rue
(1863–1947). G.L. Blackford was longtime President of Denison's State National Bank.
Clara Blackford Smith as a girl, with dogs
Source : Bryant & Hunt. Two Schools on Main
Street, fig. 7.7
1900 Census lists the family at 1128 West Sears. Rooming with the
family was Eugenia's
brother, George O. Rue (1871–1929),
a single 28-year-old bank clerk from Missouri. He later married Hazel
Chamberlain, daughter of the noted Denison stone worker, A. P.
1900 U.S. Census
L. Blackford (a banker), wife
Eugenia Blackford, and Clara Blackford, age 8, live at 1128 West Sears
brother George Rue, a single 28-year-old bank clerk from Missouri, is a
attended Denison's Educational
Institute, the first free,
graded public school in Texas, where she was on the staff of the Raven (literary magazine) in May
completing high school
around 1907, Clara spent time in New York City, where she lived in a
residential hotel for young women and attended Katherine Gibbs, a
school that also taught practical business skills. It is possible that
also received training as a social worker during this period.
The Raven (DHS literary magazine)
Front row : Marie Markham, Floy Haley, Jessie Rennie
2nd row : Clara Blackford, Margaret Munson, Maude Peel, Eunice Strayhorn
3rd row : Woodie Byrn, Carrie Seward, Frances Harnest, Ila Ester
Back row : Curt Beck, Eugene Bristol, Fred Morgan, Gerald Sullivan
Source : Bryant & Hunt, Two Schools on Main
Street, fig. 5.9
1915, the Blackford parents built an impressive Craftsman style home
street at 1200 West Sears.
L. Blackford House
1200 West Sears Street
built ca. 1915 for the president of the State National Bank
The Blackfords lived here from 1916 to 1946. Then their daughter,
Clara, and her husband, W. Aubrey Smith, occupied the residence.
Now the home of Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Hatfield, this is a fine example of
January 27, 1922, at age 29, Clara
married Allen Jerome Read (1893–1925)
in a small ceremony in her parents' home in Denison. The event was
a short notice in the New York Times
and another in the Sherman Democrat.
Denison Girl Bride of
N.Y. Business Man
Sherman TX Daily Democrat,
January 29, 1922]
Denison, Texas, Jan. 29 — Miss
Clara Blackford, popular society girl of Denison, and Mr. Allen J.
well-known silk manufacturer of New Jersey and New York, were united in
marriage at 3 o'clock Friday afternoon at the residence of the bride's
Mr. and Mrs. G. L. Blackford, 1200 West Sears street, the Rev. Dr. J.
Aubrey, performing the ceremony. After a wedding trip to the Bermuda
they will reside in New York, where Mr. Reed is president and owner of
of silk mills.
information is sketchy, it appears that Allen grew up in Paterson, New
location of his father's first silk mill, Read and Lovatt Company (photographs).
the largest town in the northern portion of Carbon County, evolved
through the operations of the Beaver Meadow Railroad Company. Later,
that development was fostered chiefly through the Lehigh Valley
Railroad Company. In 1888 the Read
and Lovatt Silk Mill became a significant employer for women
and children. He
School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. A few months before Allen
married Clara, his
father died, leaving him as head of the silk manufacturing mills. Allen
January 1925, just three years after the wedding.
father passed away in
1927. Her mother, known as "Gene," lived on in the house at 1200 West
Sears Street. She passed away in November 1947.
1930, Clara had married a
Denisonian, William Aubrey Smith
(1893–1977). He was the son of Erwin
Jesse Smith (1866–1925), a local attorney whose name, "E. J.
Smith," is still visible on a building at 228 West Main Street.
mother was Nannie Weir Smith (1867–1893).
He had a brother, Erwin Weir Smith
(1890–1959), who lived in Houston.
J. Smith Building at 228 West Main Street.
It is next
to the proposed vest pocket park.
Mavis Anne Bryant, 2013
and Aubrey Smith lived in
Houston, occupying an apartment in the fashionable Warwick Hotel at
Street, near Rice University and the city's growing cluster of art
Aubrey was in the oil business, being secretary of Smith &
secretary-treasurer of the Houston Royalty Company. He and his brother
business partnership. Clara was active as a philanthropist and social
experiences during this period are reflected in the establishment in
the Clara B. Smith Training Center within the Social Work Department of
D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
1953, the Smiths returned
to live in Denison at the house at 1200 West Sears. Clara had an office
upstairs at the State National Bank. Censuses listed Aubrey's
"oil worker" and "lawyer." He passed away at the end of
1977, and his wife joined him in Fairview Cemetery in 1983.
couple had no children. In
1978, Clara established the Clara Blackford Smith and W.
Aubrey Smith Charitable Foundation, dedicated to promoting
education, health care, and human services programming for underserved
populations in Texas. The foundation gives priority to local needs.
Guided by a
local board, it has had a significant impact on Denison and surrounding
Tuesday for Aubrey Smith
December 5, 1977]
— Services for W. Aubrey
Smith, who died early this morning at a local hospital, will be Tuesday
a.m. at his residence, 1200 West Sears, under the direction of Bratcher
Home. Rev. Harrison Lee of the Christ Episcopal Church of Dallas will
officiate. Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery.
was born in Denison, the son
of Mr. and Mrs. E. J. Smith. He was a graduate of Denison Senior High
Highland Falls Prep School in New York, and Texas A&M. He
former Clara Blackford.
and his brother started
[illegible] Houston Royalty Company for many years and Smith served as
in the 36th Division in Machine Gun Corp in World War I. He came back
Denison in 1963 and lived here most of his life.
used to talk about the early
days in Denison. As a young man he would go with a lot of the pioneer
merchants on hunting trips. He said he served as everything from chief
was plentiful in those
days," he said. "They would kill quail, ducks, geese and deer on
was one of the early
members of the Denison
Gun Club, when it was created and the first meetings were
hunts in Colorado.
Later the first club house was built at the present site. He continued
to be a
booster for the Rod and Gun Club all of his life.
Survivors are his wife, Mrs. W.
Aubrey Smith; nephew Erwin Smith, New Orleans; niece, Mrs. Nancy Rich,
Kerrville; and a half-sister, Mrs. Rose Mary Pearson, Dallas.
be Albert Linden, Jack Berry, Elmer Campbell, Ralph Porter, Jim
David Bayless, and Joe Roewe.
Mrs. Clara Smith
Sherman TX Democrat,
August 3, 1983]
for Mrs. Clara Blackford
Smith, 90-year-old civic leader who died Tuesday at a Denison hospital,
held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at St. Luke's
Smith was born in Denison, a
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. G. L. Blackford, and married the late W.
the mid-1950s, she established
the annual Blackford Memorial Lectures, which are still held at Texoma
Center as a memorial to her father.
former Houston resident, she was
a member of the American Cancer Society board of directors and active
service there. She was a member of the St. Luke's Episcopal Church,
and Gun Club, Texoma Medical Center board of directors, Interfirst Bank
of directors, and a director of the North Texas Loan and Trust.
will be Jack Berry,
Ralph Porter, Elmer Campbell, Dr. John Saunders, Joe Roewe, David
Albert Linden, and Jim T. Stephenson.
may be made to the
American Cancer Society or Texoma Medical Center.
Clara Blackford Smith
Dies in Denison Tuesday
Denison TX Herald,
August 3, 1983]
Clara Blackford Smith, 90, of
1200 West Sears, who established the Blackford Memorial Lectures held
year at Texoma Medical Center, died at 9:45 p.m. Tuesday in a local
after a long illness.
will be at 10:30 a.m.
tomorrow at St. Luke's Episcopal Church. Rev. Francis D. Raffalovich
officiate and interment will be in Fairview Cemetery
under direction of
Bratcher Funeral Home.
native of Denison, Mrs. Smith
was born here April 9, 1893, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. G. L.
father was president of the State National Bank for many years and died
was for him that Mrs. Smith
organized and funded the Blackford Memorial Lectures which attract
from a wide spectrum of interests and supply area physicians and
the best current medical knowledge available.
Smith married W. Aubrey Smith,
and he died Dec. 5, 1977.
worked for many years as a
volunteer in the health care field, having organized the Harris County
the American Cancer Society in 1947. She also was an active volunteer
North Grayson County Chapter of the American Cancer Society for many
contributions have included
work at Jefferson Davis Hospital, Ellington Field, and M. D. Anderson
in Houston and Bellevue in New York City.
Mrs. Smith has been a
member of the Texoma Medical Center board of Trustees since June 1962
active in much of the original planning, decorating and landscaping of
1978 she was named honorary
chairman for the $1.5 million Texoma Medical Center Fund Drive.
also was a member of St.
Luke's Episcopal Church, the board of directors of InterFirst Bank in
North Texas Loan and Trust, Denison Rod and Gun Club and did social
living in Houston.
will be Jack Berry,
Ralph Porter, Elmer Campbell, John Saunders, MD, Joe Roewe, David
Albert Linden and Jim T. Stephenson.
have been suggested to
the American Cancer Society or Texoma Medical Center.